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How Does New Jersey Divide Complex Assets in a Divorce?

If you’re facing a divorce, you likely have many questions about how your life will look going forward. One concern at the center of most every divorce is the division of marital assets. This is an even more important consideration if there are complex assets involved.

In a New Jersey divorce, marital assets are subject to equitable distribution between the spouses. However, equitable distribution does not necessarily mean everything is split 50/50. Instead, a court decides what division is fair and just based upon consideration of multiple factors.

Before assets can be divided, they must be declared to be marital in nature. Generally, property obtained by either spouse during the marriage is deemed marital, while property obtained before marriage is considered separately owned. However, with complex assets, the line between marital and separate property is not always clear. This is because separate property can become commingled and turned into marital property depending on how it is managed and used. For example, a house owned by one spouse prior to marriage may have been improved during the marriage with the other spouse’s financial help.

In addition, all marital property must be appraised to determine its accurate value before it is divided by equitable distribution. The appraisal can be more difficult with complex assets such as these:

  • Stock options and restricted stock
  • Gifts, trusts, and inheritances
  • Pension plans, retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, and IRAs
  • Intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents and copyrights
  • Family businesses
  • Real estate investments
  • Unique assets like antiques, fine art, collectibles and jewelry
  • Lottery winnings
  • Damages recovered in personal injury lawsuits
  • Executive benefits or compensation packages, such as deferred income and bonuses

Accurately valuing complex assets may require hiring appraisers, accountants and other consultants with special expertise in determining the worth of the property. If there are suspected hidden assets, a private investigator might be needed to assist in tracking them down.

Property division during divorce can be difficult even under normal circumstances. When you have complex assets on the table, you need a diligent divorce lawyer on your side who will fight to ensure you are awarded everything you are entitled to.

At the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset, our family lawyers are skilled and experienced in resolving all issues arising in New Jersey divorces. We can provide the guidance you need to be confident in the division of property in your case. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us online or schedule a consultation by calling 732-873-6464.

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